NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 S5.03-8648
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Sample Collection, Processing, and Handling Devices
PROPOSAL TITLE: Miniature Sample Collection and Delivery System using Gas-entrained Powder Transport

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
inXitu, Inc.
2551 Casey Ave Suite A
Mountain View, CA 94043 - 1135
(650) 567-0081

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Will Brunner
2551 Casey Ave Suite A
Mountain View, CA 94043 - 1135
(650) 567-0083

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose to develop a miniature system for acquisition and delivery of solid samples to landed planetary instruments. This system would entrain powder produced by drilling in atmospheric gas. The powder / gas mixture would be transported to a sample chamber, where the powder would sedimented out. The key innovations of this system are:
- The sample collector doubles as a sample holder for delivery to on-board instrumentation. This reduces the risk of cross-contamination.
- The small size and power requirements of the complete system would make powdered sample collection available to smaller planetary missions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed innovation would support the NASA goals related to Mars surface exploration by providing powder acquisition and delivery capability in a small, low power package.
Potential applications include use in connection with analytical instruments which require fine to coarse grain samples. These include X-ray instrumentation using either X-ray fluorescence, X-ray diffraction or both as is the case with CheMin type instruments. Other instruments which would benefit from this innovation include SAM, the sample analysis at Mars instrument, or other similar gas chromatograph / mass spectrometer instruments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed innovation will be a significant advance to automated powder sampling systems in batch analysis of pharmaceutical substances. The device will take the form of a robotic miniature pipetting system that would automate the collection of crystallized material for X-ray diffraction analysis.
In drug discovery, this could both increase throughput and reduce cross-contamination issues. Any increase in throughput in the vast number of samples typically analyzed throughout the course of drug discovery would have a significant impact. Another application could be in industrial process monitoring of pharmaceuticals or other powdered materials.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.


Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50